Did you all go out and watch STRANGE MAGIC this weekend? I took the kids and they loved the movie, and I was happy to be a able to see it again!
I know you all remember that I got a chance to visit Skywalker Ranch and screen the movie, meet the crew and interview a couple of people involved with the film. First, it was Elijah Kelley, then George Lucas, and now, Academy Award winning Director Gary Rydstrom! It is pretty cool to hear about Strange Magic from a behind-the-scenes perspective, and to hear what it was like to make the movie. Here are a few facts about the movie from Rydstrom, this was a fun interview!
10 Facts about the movie STRANGE MAGIC, spoken by Director Gary Rydstrom
1. Strange Magic is Rydstroms’ very first musical. In previous work, he’s done sound effects and found himself at odds with the composer, so it was kind of a fight with them to see what would be included. Directing a feature film that’s a musicl means he gets to say what goes!
2. The director of Strange Magic, Gary Rydstrom, has plenty of experience with animation. He directed Pixar shorts Lifted, and Toy Story Two, Hawaiian Vacation, and also the Secret World of Arrietty from Up on Poppy Hill and the Wind Waker.
3. Rydstrom loved George Lucas’ movie American Graffiti, and was attracted to the idea to make a love story with the use of song. There are many love songs in the movie, but when you think about it, it’s had to find positive love songs out there that would be relevant. Apparently, making a musical is really fun!
4. Casting the right actors for each role is really the key to making them great. You have to find people who both act and sing and that really have the whole package. “Alan Cumming, both actor and singer amazing, Evan Rachel Wood is as good a singer as she is an actress. Sam Palladio who plays Roland is an amazing singer, as well as a very funny actor. And then Kristin Chenoweth who is funny and as I have said before, I was in the room with her as I was with all the actors when they were singing their songs and when she hit some of those high notes in Love Is Strange, it was like my glasses broke!”
5. It is actually hard for the actors to visualize a character when they are acting alone. As the director, Rydstrom had to describe the scenes to the best of his ability, and had to take on multiple roles, opposite of the actors, to help the scenes come to fruition. Elijah Kelley (voice of Sunny) has so much energy that it required Rydstrom to work much harder than with the other actors!
6. Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream was the inspiring work, “what I love about that story is that people find love in one night, and our story takes place in one night, one day, people find love and- and it’s very- it’s a multiple love story. An unexpected love story, so I think that’s what’s inspired by Shakespeare “.
7. The stunning art work and visual effects in the movie used inspiration from classic fairy art and other works of George Lucas. They used actual things in nature, the fairies were drawn as butterflies and the Bog King and his crew were concepts made by various insects.
8. Rydstrom’s favorite moment in the movie is the Strange Magic scene. It really sums up the whole movie, the song and the scene are both great!
9. His favorite, most identifiable character: Bog King. He’s been hurt in love, we’ve all been there. “I think we all go through a thing that’s a completely natural thing, it’s when you get your heart broken, you say that’s it, I’m not going to let myself be vulnerable ever again.” So, a shield goes up, and it takes a lot to penetrate it. Once you get past that, it’s that much more satisfying for the next situation.
10. Each of the actors brought a little piece of themselves to their respective roles. “Simple things, like Alan Cumming is Scottish and the Bog King has, you know, we talked about it, give it about a twenty percent Scottish accent. And Evan Rachel Wood is very much like Marianne but she’s the sweetest, she’s got the most amazing happy laugh. And she’s the sweetest thing but she can be tough as nails if she needs to be and, you know, so they all brought something of themselves to the role.”
I had a wonderful time, and I learned so much about the direction process of n animated film. I hope that you all go out and see the amazing work they have created, STRANGE MAGIC is playing now in theaters!
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Disclosure: Travel and experiences for were provided by Disney, I was not compensated for press coverage.